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Saturday, January 31, 2015

On Death and Taxes - And a Pajama Memory Quilt

They say the only certain things in life are death and taxes.  And that is certainly what I have been experiencing this week.  We lost an uncle and my brother-in-law's mother. Last month, we lost our neighbor. I have seen a number of memorials on Facebook, too. So as we emerge from the darkest time of the year, so we also seem to emerge from a dark time of death and sadness. At one of the funerals, the priest talked about how we Americans, as a culture, do not know how to deal with death. Our movie, music, and TV programs promote an image of eternal youthfulness.  In our video games, people die, then you restart the game.  But the reality in aging is that there can be physical and emotional struggles, or perhaps a prolonged illness. Sometimes there is joy that our loved one is no longer suffering.  And, then, guilt for feeling joy....

We want to remember our loved ones and hold them near. My memory pillows have been a wonderful way to remember fathers or grandfathers.  And, now, we are remembering our mothers and grandmothers with their pajamas.  This blanket was commissioned by a woman who lost both of her parents within six months of each other.  It was given to her 12 year old niece as a birthday present.  I was planning to make the brick style blanket that I had done in the past.  However, she also had some fun nightshirts, like the "I Love Lucy" one featured in the center panel.

I began by placing the shirt motifs in the center and bordering them with a navy fabric.  I then used the bulk of the pajamas to create bricks.

There were several silky tops that I cut up to create an outside border, also set off with a blue fabric. Finally, my customer thought her niece would like a navy chevron ultra cuddle fabric.

The crazy color combinations somehow work.  The chevron border gives a fun, whimsical finish - perfect for a 12 year old.

And the entire blanket - brings a wave a memories and a few tears.....

I am honored and humbled to cut apart simple things which hold such dear memories for my customers and put them together to create practical blankets and pillows.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oxygen Tank Tote

I have been hoping to find time to develop my Oxygen Tank Totes, but time has been short.  (You can see my previous totes here.)  Thankfully, I have a wonderful customer, Mary, who loved my first bag so much she bought some different fabric and sent it to me to make another bag.

The tote is made using a double-faced, quilted cotton.  I used the contrast fabric for the straps and the outside patch pocket.

The straps are extra wide and extra long for shoulder comfort.

The bag is lined with a duck cloth for strength.  A small zippered pocket and a patch pocket are on the inside.

I have these listed in my Etsy shop if you are interested in having me make one for you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Upcyced Scarf and Pillow Cover from Flannel PJs

I was asked to make a scarf for a three year old boy from his father's old flannel pajamas.  

Based on the usable fabric, I cut two pieces, sewed them together, turned inside out and topstitched. The finished size is about 6" x 57".

I had enough to create a 14" pillow cover. I had to add a border to get to that size.

I have listed these custom items in my Etsy shop.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Seasons of Life

As a custom sewing studio, Maiden Jane has evolved over the years. My Etsy shop opened six years ago with some headbands, aprons, and totes.  Some of my products have evolved over the years. Some have faded away. Mainly, I have evolved as a service provider to create what my customers envision. I still love to make bags and aprons, but have little time to produce inventory. Instead, I get requests to make bags in special fabrics, seat cushions with personalization, and memory pillows and blankets. I haven't had much time to reflect on the past year nor plan for this upcoming year as I have not recovered from the holidays, still have college kids home, and have had a high schooler with three snow days in a row! But what I have come to realize is that I am privileged to work with customers to preserve various Seasons of Life. Thank you for entrusting your precious memories to me! I plan to work my hardest to create quality products that meet or exceed your expectations.

And those seasons?

Anticipating the Birth of a Child

Celebrating the First Year of Life

Preserving Memories for Moms Whose Babies are Growing Up 

Celebrating Boyhood

Graduating High School

Celebrating the College Years

Honoring Accomplishments


Preserving Memories of a Loved One


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